The addition of an AWD system could turn the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro MAX into a bargain-priced hot-rod SUV. Add its luxurious interior and loaded spec sheet to the mix, and its value proposition becomes almost untouchable.

With prices starting to the north of R 600 000, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro is not a cheap vehicle by any metric, but it does offer a lot of standard equipment, strong performance and a really attractive and comfortable cabin for the money. The MAX variant, released towards the end of 2022, added even more power, courtesy of its larger 2.0-litre engine, but much of this effort ended up obliterating the front tyres rather than providing real performance gains.

But now the final piece of this puzzle has arrived in the form of an on-demand AWD system, and the result may just be one of the quickest cars available for the money anywhere. Think Golf GTI-level of straight-line performance, but wrapped in a large and luxurious SUV instead of a compact hatchback.

Related: Get more details about the new Chery Tiggo 8 Pro MAX AWD in this report on ALL THINGS MOTORING.

How quick is the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro MAX AWD?

While Chery doesn’t quote any performance figures, some educated guesswork could give a reasonable indication of the speed on offer. In FWD guise, the 2.0-litre MAX has a claimed 0 - 100 km/h sprint time of 7.3 seconds, although independent local testing revealed that 7.1 seconds is easily achievable on an unprepared surface.

Making this figure even more impressive is the fact that most of the run, up to about 70 km/h, is spent with the front tyres howling in protest under the onslaught of 187 kW and 390 Nm, indicating that a lot of that power is getting turned into tyre smoke instead of forward motion. This problem will largely disappear in the newly-announced AWD version, however, so a mid-6-second time in the benchmark sprint will be entirely plausible.

Related: Chery offers the same AWD system matched to their potent 1.6-litre turbo engine in the Tiggo 7 Pro MAX, and our review shows it to be a most agreeable combination as well.

How much does a Chery Tiggo 8 Pro MAX AWD cost?

Getting anything with this level of acceleration elsewhere in the new-car market will necessitate dispensing some serious money, especially when SUVs are under the spotlight. Yet Chery manages to bring this storming performance to the South African market for less than three-quarters of a million Rand.

This represents absurdly good bang for the bucks, because the only other new car that offers comparable performance for a similar outlay carries the hallowed VW and GTI badge combination. While we won’t ever claim that a Tiggo 8 AWD is a driver’s car in the vein of VW’s iconic compact hatchback, there’s no denying the appeal of getting similar straight-line speed in a leather-lined luxury cocoon with ample room for 7 occupants, either.

As for other SUVs, you’d have to add about 50% to the top-level Chery’s pricetag to approach its performance level with any of the premium brands, and even then, you still won’t have anywhere near the balance of standard features, premium trimmings, space, and practicality that come as standard in all Chery Tiggo 8 models. Non-premium SUVs around the same price point can’t match the Chery for power, features or space, either.

Related: Shop for a new or used Chery Tiggo 8 Pro in this luxurious selection on CHANGECARS.

Even more gadgets added to the features list

With every revision of the Tiggo 8 model line, Chery adds more standard equipment to the spec sheet, and the AWD MAX continues this trend. To the Tiggo 8 Pro’s existing list of driver assistants, such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assistance, Chery added emergency lane-departure prevention and a collision evasion system for the AWD version.

Most of these features are optional extras in legacy automakers’ offerings (if they are available at all), yet Chery includes them as standard in their range-topper. That is in addition to diamond-pattern stitched leather on the seats, dash and doors, electric adjustment with memory functions for the heated and cooled front seats, a gigantic panoramic sunroof, crisp 360-degree camera system, and 10-speaker SONY audio system with wireless charging and smartphone mirroring, and two large, high-resolution colour displays.

The toy count alone makes the Tiggo 8 worth considering, but too so does the spacious and plush cabin. Add the performance on tap, and the most-expensive Chery suddenly looks quite cheap for everything it offers. Long-term first owners will undoubtedly appreciate the industry-leading 10 year/million kilometer warranty as well.

Martin Pretorius


Buy the new or used Chery Tiggo of your dreams, safely and hassle-free, right here on CHANGECARS.